Has The Bubble Burst?


Yesterday was another warm day in the UK, but I did manage to complete half a dozen pieces of art which have needed to be finished it seems since Monet was a boy. I diligently uploaded them, all while the rare UK sunshine made an appearance. This my friends is called dedication. While I was indoors, the sun shined, and for a moment it felt like Orlando. In the winter. It seems though I missed out on a trick. Sunburn art is officially a thing. Like I found this out in 1998 when a friend drew a phallic shape on my back with Factor 50. Thing was, I never knew it was a thing.

Sunburn Art
Better stock up on Factor 50!


Three days of sunshine in the UK and off come the winter coats, well, at least until the weekend when once again, winter like conditions will almost definitely return. In fact, I wonder if the chem trail conspiracy is real. The sun corresponds to that event that happens in the UK, where ladies scream and grunt, and people queue up for two weeks to get a centre court ticket. Of course, I’m talking about Wimbledon.

This summer some sunbathers are getting a little creative by trying their hand with "sunburn" art. On social media people can be found using sunblock or temporary tattoos to create "artful" sunburns. But experts cringe at the practice warning that any sunburn can lead to damage and increased chance of skin cancer. Not only that, but I can confirm that on my second day in Ibiza, my pasty complexion was so tender to the touch it almost made me cry. What did make me cry was my room was right above the cabaret bar, and a Lady GaGa tribute played downstairs. I like Lady GaGa, but not when she sounded like a Smurf on steroids. This carried on until 3am. I was promised a sedentary country club. I got Pacha. With a live band.

"This is where popular culture is clashing with medical advice," said Dr. Barney Kenet, a New York-based dermatologist. "It’s really obvious that sunburn does two things to you: it gives you lines and freckles and wrinkles and it also causes skin cancer especially melanoma."

Kenet said that if people were really aiming to have a good clean example of sunburn "art" they may be inclined to stay out in the sun longer. You can read the full story here.

Bubble Wrap
Is the bubble about to burst?


Cheaper than a therapist, whether you are young or old, everyone I have ever met, agrees that there are very few things in life more satisfying than an un-popped sheet of Bubble Wrap.

Today I am the harbinger of bad news. Today will be the day you never thought would come. Today, you'll have never have even contemplated that the end of an era was so near. Bubble Wrap is about to change forever.

It is with a solemn heart that I bring you the news that Sealed Air, the company behind our favourite pastime, has developed un-poppable wrap. The air simply moves, and no matter how hard you press, it just won't pop.

Sealed Air claims the new version is more compact, and easier to ship and store than the old one as it is delivered without the air inside. Companies hoping to try it will have to use a pump supplied by Sealed Air to inflate sheets themselves. Stop it immediately, surely this is more expensive for the consumer? Therapy fees alone will become extortionate, and that's if you can find a therapist. Alas, I anticipate there will be a queue.

If this news has ruined your day, you are not alone. A #SaveBubbleWrap campaign is gaining momentum as it tries to ensure the joy of Bubble Wrap is not permanently lost.

Sealed Air has responded to the campaign, tweeting to reassure fans that the classic wrapping will remain available. Despite this, we must remain vigilante to ensure the pleasure of popping is preserved for generations to come.

Another Good Week For Sotheby's


Another interesting week, and in particular, things didn’t go quite as planned at a recent Sotheby’s auction. The Independent, a British newspaper, reported that cleaners at Sotheby’s London have been banned from work in the wake of a protest about better sick pay terms.

While million-dollar art was being bid for inside of Sotheby’s, outside a group of workers and sympathisers stage what The Independent called a "loud but peaceful" demonstration. The four cleaners who attended the demonstration were denied entry to their place of work, according to a statement from their trade union, United Voices of the World.

Certainly both ends of the economic spectrum involved in this incident, and I do wonder how many people bidding in the auction actually showed empathy for the cleaners.


Two self-portraits by the Irish-born painter Francis Bacon were sold for £30 million during a record sale at Sotheby's on Wednesday 1st July 2015.

The portraits, painted by Bacon in 1975 and 1980, had never previously been on display to the public. Experts knew of their existence, but did not know who had bought them. They resurfaced in a private collection earlier this year, after descendants of the original collector decided to sell.

Rolling Stones Sand Art
Sticking with the Summer theme!


Also from The Independent, The Rolling Stones have teamed up with Saatchi Gallery to stage "Exhibitionism," which has already been described as "the most comprehensive and immersive insight into the world’s Greatest Rock n’ Roll Band," and also "ten times the size of David Bowie’s V&A exhibition."

The show, which will take over nine themed galleries across two floors at Saatchi’s London outpost before embarking on a four-year, 11 city world tour, will feature all of the Hard Rock Cafe-esque memorabilia and ephemera one has come to expect from these kind of things, along with a relatively steep entry fee (£15), compared to Saatchi’s usual cover charge of "free."

Entry prices will start at £15 and just go up from there, with steeper fees for "premium" viewing times (Such as Saturday afternoons).


Paintings by Henri Matisse and Vincent Van Gogh risk fading to a dirty beige because of a chemical reaction which is oxidising their bright yellow hue.

Scientists in France, Belgium and the US have discovered that the cadmium yellow pigment which was used widely by Impressionist, post-Impressionist, and early modernist painters is already starting to discolour and is likely to get worse.

In paintings such as ‘The Joy of Life’ by Matisse and ‘Flowers in Blue Vase’ by Van Gogh, discolouration of cadmium yellow has changed the general appearance and colour balance of the painting so that they now look significantly different, researchers believe.

Although the damage that has occurred to the cadmium yellow paint cannot currently be reversed, the researchers say that museums should consider changing their lighting and humidity levels to slow the decline.

Of course, modern day art will suffer less in years to come, but even though pigment and paint technology is improving all the time, I have seen even more recent artwork fade in just a few years since it was produced. For the colour to already have lasted this long, is testament to the craftsmen, women and artists of the past, and their ability to produce quality pigment.


Major sections of Reddit, the social network-slash, bulletin board that bills itself as the "front page of the internet", have been taken offline by moderators in protest at the departure of a key member of staff.

More than 100 "subreddits", the special-interest areas of Reddit that collectively, build the website, were taken down on Thursday night. These include some of the most popular subreddits, including books, gaming and music, as well as more niche subjects such as "spongebros" a collection of memes fusing Spongebob Squarepants with Mario Bros.

One of the previous not so smart watches!


Casio, the Japanese maker of the classic digital timepiece, is taking a giant leap into the future with the announcement of its first official smartwatch.

Some would argue that Casio is already the original smartwatch manufacturer thanks to its existing range of wristwear, but over forty years after releasing its first digital watch, it's decided the time has come to get connected. According to the Wall Street Journal, the veteran watchmaker is hoping to outdo the likes of Apple and other major tech companies by appealing to the mass market's need for comfort and durability.

The device it intends to bring to market is first and foremost remain a watch, it says. Smart features will play second fiddle to telling the time. Casio may well be taking a lesson from its own history books here, as in the past it has tried to incorporate a schedule manager and heart rate monitor into its devices, they have not proven popular. In fact they were a relative disaster for the company, but maybe ahead of their time.

"At times we just showed off with quirky features and then pulled those products when they didn’t sell well," Kazuhiro Kashio, the company's brand new president, is reported as saying. "We are trying to bring our smartwatch to a level of watch perfection: a device that won’t break easily, is simple to put on and feels good to wear."


I thought this one had all been put to bed, but it appears that the tech giant is continuing development of their Often contentious Glass product.

At the beginning of this year, the Google Glass program was moved into Tony Fadell's Nest division and the questions surrounding the wearable changed from "when will this weird head gadget finally die" to "when will this weird head gadget be reinvented and released to consumers." Since then, Eric Schmidt insisted that the program is far from dead and the CEO of Italian eyewear Luxxotica told the Wall Street Journal that a "second version" that incorporated the "second thoughts" Google had about the platform was coming "soon."

Now, Droid Life has dug up a submission to the FCC that shows fairly compelling evidence that Google is actively testing the next version of Glass. These kinds of FCC documents used to be a rich source for people looking to learn about what gadgets were coming soon, but in recent years both those companies and the FCC have learned to lock up actual product photos under confidentiality agreements. Nevertheless, there are still details to be found amongst the tests, which require companies to disclose whether or not the radios inside these gadgets are safe for use around humans. Thus, we know that the device with the FCC ID A4R-GG1 supports various Wi-Fi bands and Bluetooth. It's not a piece of tech I need in my life right now, but as with Casio's earlier attempts at smarter watches, Glass is too far ahead of its time.

Classic Chevy
This old Chevy needs an upgrade!


Wireless smartphone charging is becoming a pretty desirable feature in cars nowadays. But Chevrolet seems to think this luxury can present a problem. With everything our phones are constantly doing such as streaming music, providing turn-by-turn directions, etc. it's not hard for the battery inside to start overheating. In some cases, this can dramatically slow down or completely halt the charging process. So Chevy has come up with a novel way of keeping things cool. A dedicated A/C vent for your phone.

The system is called Active Phone Cooling and is making its debut in select 2016 vehicles equipped with wireless charging. The Impala, Malibu, Volt, and Cruze are each getting the option. Chevy is essentially sharing the cool air already coming from your car's A/C and sending it to the charging bin where your phone rests.

The system only runs when you've turned on air conditioning in the main cabin. "Innovation doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel," Impala engineer Dan Lascu astutely said in a press release. "Sometimes simplicity offers the most elegant solution to a problem." Chevy claims other automakers don't have any answer for this feature. I think makers who incorporate Apple's features in their vehicles might do well to take note. I'm pretty convinced that Tesla will have this covered soon.

So that's today's round up. I'm in London overnight again this week, staying in my usual Covent Garden haunt, The Travelodge. Nowhere will you find such luxurious surroundings until you retreat to your room. Don't get me wrong, I'm on first name terms with the staff. The rooms are basic, but if the weathers hot, at least Covent Garden is a two minute walk away. That means galleries, and an Apple Store. So of you happen to find a man sitting in the corner with an iPad and a stylus, that will be me bringing you some more fun facts and a few doodles. Well, until 9:30, that's when I bid everyone goodnight. I'm so rock n roll.









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